Body of Indian soldier who disappeared during glacier battle found after 38 years

The body of an Indian soldier who disappeared 38 years ago in a glacier on the disputed border with Pakistan has been found, the Indian Army said on Wednesday.

An army unit released images of Chander Shekhar’s coffin, bearing an Indian flag, two days after India celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence.

The Army said Shekhar took part in Operation Meghdoot in 1984, when India and Pakistan fought a quick battle for control of the Siachen Glacier, considered the highest battleground in the world.

At 5,486 meters above sea level, with temperatures that can reach 50 degrees below zero, Siachen is one of the toughest military scenarios in the world.

Located in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, the site is claimed by India and Pakistan, two nuclear powers.

Local media reported that Shekhar was part of a group of 20 soldiers who were trapped in an ice storm while on patrol.

Fifteen bodies were recovered at the time, but the other five were not found.

A funeral with military honors will be organized in the state of Uttarakhand, where Shekhar’s family lives.

His daughter, who was 4 years old when Shekhar disappeared, told the press: “He’s been gone a long time… Dad’s back, but I wish he were alive.”

Decades after the first battle for Siachen, India and Pakistan maintain a military presence in this remote region.

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